What Are The Requirements For Obtaining The E-2 Investor Visa?
How Long Can You Stay On This Type Of Visa?
You can stay as long as you want. There is no maximum cap on the duration of it; you just have to keep renewing it. Usually, initial admission is for two years and then subsequent admissions are 3 years, 5 years. There is no upward limit. You can renew it as long as your company is still sustainable.
Do You Have To Hire U.S. Employees In Order To Get The E-2 Visa?
You don’t technically need to hire employees. It’s easier to have the visa application approved if you intend to hire employees or if you’re purchasing an existing business that already has employees. That mainly has to do with the requirements for the E-2 visa, one of which is that it be basically not a marginal enterprise with a nominal investment. They want to see a substantial amount of investment. They basically want to see that it’s going to be an investment that does more than just support you for your survival. Technically, it’s not a requirement but it’s always better if you’re going to have employees. This ties into the amount of investment as well, because technically there is no specified investment amount. Obviously the more you invest, the more likely you are to obtain the visa.
Is There Any Minimum Amount To Get The E-2 Visa?
There is no minimum amount of investment to get the E-2 visa and this is a distinction from the permanent resident based investment that’s typically $500,000 to $1 million. Attorney Xavier Racine has done E-2 visas for an initial investment as low as $40,000 – $50,000. Immigration is not so much interested in the amount invested, but you have to have control of the majority ownership if you’re buying an existing business.
Some of the lower-end investments handled by Priale & Racine PLLC, for example, have been things like when someone wants to set up a consulting company and they have also done one for a translator, an interpreter, and they all have very low overhead. It’s obviously going to be different than someone who is seeking to do an E-2 if they are purchasing a factory or a restaurant or something where there’s going to be a lot more capital involved. The statute doesn’t specify specific amount of money but again, the more you invest, the more likely it is that immigration will find that it’s a substantial investment and the easier the visa application will be.
Is The Source Of Funds For The Investment Going To Be Of Concern?
You do need to somehow document where the funds came from; whether that’s from a bequest or inheritance from a will, the sale of real estate, etc. Immigration will want to see some type of evidence; tax returns that you’ve generated; income or savings from employment or some other investment. Immigration will want to make sure that the funds come from a “legitimate source”. In other words, that you’re not using drugs money or somehow illicitly gained funds to fund your E-2 visa.
Is It Okay To Use Gifted Funds To Apply For An E-2 Visa?
A lot of times, people think that they can’t use a gift that they received as a source of funds but instead have to earn the funds themselves. However, that is not actually true. That’s probably the most common question people have after they have tried to do it themselves, or maybe with attorneys that was not familiar with the visa program. It’s perfectly okay to use gifted funds to apply for an E-2 visa from a wife or a parent. You are still subject to the same requirements as far as proving the legitimacy of those funds, but it’s perfectly acceptable.
Is There A Particular Type Of Business That You Have To Start Or Buy?
There is no restriction on the type of business you have to start or buy. The only caveat is that it just can’t be a passive investment. For example, you can’t buy something that wouldn’t require you to be actively involved in managing the business or that’s purely passive. You can buy any business you want, as long as you meet the other requirements and it’s a substantial investment.
Are They Going To Be Requiring Things Like A Business Plan? What Is Required To Start Off The Application?
There are no requirements. However, it is very seldom that attorneys will submit an E-2 without a business plan. It is a key component that immigration will examine before the visa. The business plan will traditionally address a lot of the factors that immigration wants to see as far as future growth and financial solvency. A business plan will also most likely address the issue of employees; if you’re going to be hiring employees, when that’ll happen.
Again, technically there is no requirement. However, often times there are requirements for certain types of cases, especially if it’s a new enterprise. In an existing business, you could get away without a business plan because you already have a lot of existing financial documentation about the business; tax returns, employee payroll reports, a commercial lease, etc. There is generally a lot of documentation for an existing business but for a new business, the business plan would be key because there really is no documentation to provide.
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